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Center’s Package a Drop In The Ocean, Himachal’s Calamity Should Be Declared National Disaster: Cong Leader Rajeev Shukla

Himachal Pradesh: Himachal has suffered massive destruction in this monsoon. As incessant rainfall wreaks havoc in Himachal Pradesh triggering landslides, and floods causing a loss of nearly Rs. 13,000 crores, state Congress in-charge Rajeev Shukla on Thursday slammed the Centre for providing only Rs 200 crores for restoration work saying it is like a drop […]

Edited By : Saurav Gupta | Updated: Aug 24, 2023 20:23 IST
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Cong Leader Rajeev Shukla
Cong Leader Rajeev Shukla

Himachal Pradesh: Himachal has suffered massive destruction in this monsoon. As incessant rainfall wreaks havoc in Himachal Pradesh triggering landslides, and floods causing a loss of nearly Rs. 13,000 crores, state Congress in-charge Rajeev Shukla on Thursday slammed the Centre for providing only Rs 200 crores for restoration work saying it is like a drop in the ocean.

Addressing the media, Rajeev Shukla said that the unprecedented scale of destruction has caused by the relentless rains.

“Tragically, the toll includes the loss of 330 lives, the destruction of 12,000 houses, and an estimated financial loss of around 13 thousand crore rupees,” Congress leader said.

“In response to this crisis, relief and rescue operations have been launched in full force across the state. The torrents of water have eroded major highways, resulting in the disruption of transportation routes,” he stated.

“A staggering number of around 75,000 tourists and 17,000 vehicles found themselves stranded. Within 48 hours, the Himachal government managed to execute the rescue of these stranded individuals. The efforts extended to 350 tourists trapped at a daunting altitude of 4,500 meters,” he informed.

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“The region experienced heavy rainfall from July 7 to 15, followed by another spill between August 10 and 14, which continues to afflict the state,” Shukla said.

“Even upper Himachal, which was initially spared, has fallen victim to the onslaught of rain and cloudbursts. This catastrophe has not only disrupted daily life but has also adversely affected the ongoing apple harvesting season, leaving farmers with ripe horticulture crops but no accessible roads for transportation,” he added.

In light of this crisis, Rajeev Shukla emphasizes the urgent need for the Central Government to declare Himachal Pradesh’s situation as a national disaster. Drawing parallels to previous national emergencies like the Kedarnath disaster and the Bhuj earthquake, he implores the government to provide a substantial relief package of Rs 10,000 crore, in contrast to the Rs 200 crore provided thus far.

Furthermore, he appeals to the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Chairman of the Rajya Sabha to release funds from the MP fund. He cites instances where states like Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Karnataka, and Haryana have extended financial assistance to Himachal.

Shukla calls upon all states in the country to contribute financially to Himachal Pradesh’s recovery. Addressing Union Minister Nitin Gadkari, he urges the expeditious commencement of road reconstruction. In this hour of need, he also appeals to the entire nation to extend their support and assistance to Himachal Pradesh.

First published on: Aug 24, 2023 07:45 PM IST

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